Day 22: Cooking With Matt

Or, Matt Tries to Reflect on Two Failed Meals in a Row

I haven’t written any confessions in a few days so here’s another one:

I’m not actually any good at cooking.

I’ve got three or four meals that I can make really well and everything else is a complete crapshoot.

I’ve got: Smoothies, quinoa with veggies, green lentils with veggies, and eggs.

Anything that doesn’t require cooking like salads, hummus wraps, etc. are all taste fine if prepared by me as well.

Earlier this morning, I tried cooking red lentils to be used later today–maybe in a salad or just eaten on the side. If you look above, red lentils aren’t on the list. Green lentils, however, are on the list. I thought that since they both had the word lentil in it, I could cook it fine. Furthermore, I tried to get creative and add some turmeric while cooking, because they’re both generally used in indian dishes.

After cooking, the pot of lentils looked something like mashed up corn. Pretty gross looking mashed up corn at that. I thought I had hugely messed up because this looked nothing like the nice pot of green lentils I had made the night before.

Looking into it after the fact, I may have actually done it correctly–I forgot to account for the fact that red lentils are not intended to be eaten the same way as black or green. This would explain why they were called for in the soup recipe I made last night where I chose to sub in green.

Thinking about this near fiasco, I see one of my major problems with cooking.

I can’t feel it.

I don’t mean feel it as in I’m channeling some super hippie vibes and having a spiritual experience through creating food–though that’s a perfectly fine experience to have (honestly I’m kind of envious). I mean I can’t feel it as in my best cooking comes as recreating with the materials I have.

Basically, I’m a pro at following recipes–most of the time. This might seem to contradict what I said at the beginning about only having three or four meals. I should clarify: those three or four meals are of my own creation. I didn’t take anyone’s smoothie recipe–in fact, my smoothies hardly ever taste the same because I don’t usually measure things. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s absolutely awful.

Looking at what I’ve written above, it doesn’t actually have much of a focus. I’m choosing to leave it that way because it reminds me of how I make substitutions in recipes and choose what to put in smoothies–very loose logical connections that could either be great or a complete failure.

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